Sandy Nelson casts her vote during early voting.JPG

Some 3,000 people in Ouachita Parish have already participated in early voting for the July 11 municipal primary and presidential preference primary elections, state election results show.

The municipal primary election includes races in Monroe for mayor and Monroe City Council as well as the election of five members to the Richwood Board of Aldermen.

The last mayoral race in Monroe was in the spring of 2016. At that time, early voting for the municipal primary election totaled nearly 5,000, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Early voting for the July 11 primary election will continue for more than another week in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and measures taken by the state to prevent further spread. Early voting will conclude on July 4.

Voters can participate in early voting at the Ouachita Parish Health Unit on DeSiard Street in Monroe or at the West Monroe Convention Center on Ridge Avenue in West Monroe from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the Ouachita Parish Registrar of Voters.

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury shifted the West Monroe early voting location from the West Ouachita Senior Center to the West Monroe Convention Center because Gov. John Bel Edwards’ order prohibits establishing any polling place at a senior citizen center.

The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is July 7.

If any of the elections on July 11 advance to a run-off, those run-off elections will be held during the Aug. 15 general election.

In Monroe, Mayor Jamie Mayo, a Democrat, is seeking re-election and faces four challengers. He has served as mayor since 2001.

Beyond Mayo, mayoral candidates include community activist Marie Brown, a Democrat; local businessman Friday Ellis, an independent; Fredrick Louis, a Democrat; and Ronnie Scott, a Libertarian.

In the Monroe City Council’s District 2 race, City Council member Gretchen Ezernack, a Republican, will face Jackie Slack, a Democrat and former city employee.

In the City Council’s District 3 race, City Council member Juanita Woods will face local activist Alicia “Cocoa” Calvin. Woods and Calvin are Democrats.

The four candidates for the City Council’s District 4 race include Carday Marshall Sr., Jesse Smith, Jesse Walker, and Trandon Welch. They are each Democrats.

In the City Council’s District 5 race, the five candidates are Kema Dawson, Chresancio “Chee-Chee” Jackson, Kevin Johnson, Eugene Payne Jr., and Dewayne Wooten. They are each Democrats.

Meanwhile, the candidates for Richwood’s Board of Aldermen included Eric Amaker, Wysinger Cleveland, Janice Fleming, Leola Keys, Wilbert Reed Jr., Donald Richard, and Bengie Ward. They are all Democrats.

Ernest Profit, a Republican, and Simeon Profit, an independent, also are candidates.

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